Anthony Khoshabe was born in Chicago. He discovered early in his career that he didn’t particularly enjoy the 9-to-5 lifestyle, and so developed a plan to build his career outside of the typical corporate environment. Being an opportunist, Anthony endeavors to find niches in the newest markets or technologies available to the public and tries to capitalize on these every chance he gets. Anthony cites being a person who takes action rather than a person who simply talks about taking action as the defining character trait that helps him to achieve success wherever possible, regardless of the difficulty associated with any particular opportunity. He is an entrepreneur in the purest sense of the term, having built his business from the ground up with only his vision, his wits, and hard work.
Anthony Khoshabe is a great proponent of exercise, networking, and keeping informed about new developments in technology. A self-proclaimed ‘foodie,’ he can often be found searching out new restaurants in the greater Chicago area. He also enjoys training for and running in marathons. In his downtime, he often treats his wife and kids to new experiences and fun vacations.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
The idea came from seeing the struggle my mother would go through to make it to her 9-to-5 job, all the while experiencing barely any professional freedom. She had no choice; she had to do it in order to provide for our family. Watching her do this day in and day out while I was growing up, I realized that working a 9-to-5 job was not for me. I’ve never liked the idea of having to answer to higher-ups or be somewhere at a certain time to complete a certain task. I always thought it was too repetitive and not really rewarding unless you are the top person in your industry. Being an entrepreneur gives you the freedom to do what you want–but with a catch. No one owes you anything other than yourself, so you get out of it what you put in. However, there is no safety net. You have no job security. If you do not put in the hard work and perform well, you will not succeed.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up early and start my days with my workout routine. It helps to wake me up and prepare for the day. After that, I head to the office and spend time answering emails. I like to get them out of the way early so I am available when everyone else gets into the office. We have brainstorming sessions for our current projects and discuss what projects are coming down the line. Throughout the day, I may have meetings with clients, as well. It’s always different from one day to the next. I really enjoy that. After the workday is done, I head home to have dinner with my family. Usually, once the kids are in bed, I take some time to plan out my tasks for the next day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It’s a collaborative effort. Our office is small, but the team is made up of like-minded individuals who share the same goals. If we are working on a particular deal, we will all sit down together and discuss ideas and come up with a plan. We set goals and timelines, then plan out how we are going to achieve those. We are very fortunate because we have found great success with how open and communicative we are able to be, and not just with each other, but also with the people we work with—clients and vendors alike.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One of the things I like to do when I have some time is research emergent technology. I also like to look up innovative ideas regarding both technology and business. Some things that I am really excited about are Web 3.0, and all the technology behind developing cryptocurrency. I’ve also been looking into decentralized finance recently. There is always something interesting that someone is working on. Researching how far we have advanced as a society and how much further we have the potential to go in the future has been really exciting for me.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Making task lists is a habit I picked up a long time ago. It has been such a great help throughout my career. It is the best way to keep everything on track and the best way to ensure that I am not forgetting something. As I complete a task, I check it off. It’s a simple habit, but it doesn’t matter if the habit is simple; what matters is it works. These days, that list is on my phone. The little notifications that I have programmed on the phone indicating incomplete tasks on my list keep me motivated all day. At the end of the workday, if I see nothing on my task list, I know that I have had a good, productive day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to get out and network as much as possible. The foundation of a solid career in business is building relationships. It’s also important to surround yourself with people who share the same affinities and passions as yourself. The reason our company has done so well is that we have managed to do this. Everyone is working toward the same goals. Everyone approaches our work with the same passion. Had I discovered this sooner, it would have made such a big difference.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Even though there is now a lot of research to prove it, I am sometimes amazed at how many people don’t believe that diet and exercise play such a large role in how your brain and body function. Everything is connected. If you take care of your body, your mind will work better for you. You’ll be more alert, but also more relaxed.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
My biggest helper has always been my to-do list. It is imperative to keep track of what exactly you have promised to others. The way I work, I like to under-promise and over-deliver. Without my daily lists, I would have a much harder time keeping all my tasks prioritized properly. Second to that is exercise. Daily exercise, if at all possible. It really does have such an impact on how you feel and can really make a significant difference in your productivity and efficacy.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Attending networking events has been a really great strategy. There have been numerous times that I have reached out to contacts I have made at those events for help. You just never know which person whose card you received at one of those events will come in handy. Let’s say I meet someone from an area that I am not familiar with. Months or years later, a deal comes up in that area and now I know someone I can reach out to for help with that deal. That is the kind of relationship you can only have through face-to-face contact. It’s not the same to just look someone up online. Even if it was a brief meeting, it was in-person, and that visceral connection can be helpful.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There have been some deals that fell through at the last minute which we expected to close. Some of those deals would have been really profitable for us. But that is the nature of business. No deal is truly finished until it is closed and the contract is signed. Until then, there are a number of factors that can impact the outcome. Initially, I would take setbacks like that somewhat personally, and would even lose some motivation. I overcame this by recognizing that moving forward is the best way to get beyond the disappointment. There will always be more opportunities, and bigger and better deals will inevitably come. You just have to stay on the grind and push through the hard stuff so you can really enjoy the good outcomes when they do happen.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have a very simple idea that has to do with marathons, or any other running events. The registration number that each participant receives at the start of a race has to be pinned on their shirts, which is usually uncomfortable during the run, and presently, there is no other way to put that number on a runner’s shirt. If someone could develop an adhesive that would stick to a runner’s shirt without the need to pin it on, and would stick well even when the runner inevitably sweats, that would be fantastic. I think there would be a sizable market for such an item.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently invested in a piece of software that helps me organize my emails into folders faster. It is the best $100 I’ve spent recently because it saves me a lot of time filing emails. I get them constantly and I like having an organized inbox.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Microsoft Office is still the application I use the most. It has everything I need in one place and is easily accessible from anywhere. My email and my spreadsheets are always reachable when I need them, so that really keeps me productive.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The book is called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. I recommend it because it is a very easy-to-read book that helps plant information into the reader’s head to help them become financially independent.
What is your favorite quote?
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill
- Networking is important.
- Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.
- Move your body, feed your mind.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.